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Offsite Construction – Explained

Offsite construction is a construction process that depends on manufacturing units off site and getting them assembled at the construction site. KEF Infra is one of the best offsite construction companies in India.

The concept
The off -site construction process comprises the designing and planning of buildings as well as manufacturing the building components at facilities away from the construction site. The units are transported on-site for assembly to complete construction.

It includes use of dedicated software, technology integration, and range of materials for designing and manufacturing of units.

Off-site products include building components, panels, and modular units.

It creates a seamless construction process beginning with planning and designing and incorporating manufacture and supply of units.

Modular construction
The most preferred offsite construction is the modular unit. It comprises two types of modular construction.

  1. Re-locatable modular units: These modules are used to construct temporary spaces as and when necessary. They are either leased for a period of time or purchased permanently. The spaces can be used as temporary show rooms and classrooms.
  2. Permanent modular units: These are building units manufactured in factory facilities and assembled to construct permanent structures. It is useful in constructing multi-storied buildings, hospitals, schools, and larger residential structures.

Both types of modular units come as structural units as well as functional units that can be placed inside a structural unit.

offsite manufacturing construction

Off-site and on-site construction compared

  1. On-site construction segregates building construction work into almost watertight segments. Workers In each segment of the construction process tend to follow a competitive and adversarial attitude that works to the disadvantage of engineers, architects, designers, and contractors. Off-site construction brings all collaborators into the project at the designing stage thereby reducing chances of adversarial attitude. The integration of functions works to the advantage of stakeholders.
  2. On-site construction depends on temporary teams of workers who may or may not work together in future. Each building is a unique project with its peculiar demands that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Off-site method provides the scope to keep teams in tact through regular and continuous interaction across projects. It also affords scope to control and maintain workflow.
  3. On-site construction increases about 50% of non value adding activities to construction work. These include construction and removing of scaffolding for example. Off- site construction limits such wasteful activities and increases productive activity to over 60%.

The working of off-site construction
A working model follows set steps

  • Pre-Design: conceptualizing the structure
  • Design: integrated team work
  • Order: placing the order for manufacture of units
  • Fabricating: manufacturing of units in factory controlled environment
  • Delivery: transporting units to construction site
  • Assembly: collaborative or single assembly

Despite the obvious and visible advantages of cost effectiveness, speed, and consistency is off-site construction, it cannot be the answer to all construction requirements. It shows adverse effect on floor to floor height and wall thickness. Transportation needs restrict the size of the modular units that can be manufactured. Renovation of structures using modular units is a more difficult process than in on-site construction.


5 trends that are shaping the future of offsite construction

Off-site manufacturing construction has changed the way the world builds and responds to challenges of infrastructure development. India has moved into top gear in an effort to meet the growing infrastructural, residential and commercial needs of the people. The future of manufacturing is shifting off-site to expedite the change. While the construction industry is still hesitant to embrace changes in traditional working methods, here are trends that industry leaders can look at.

Rising demands for housing
The high and ever increasing demand for housing is a challenge for contractors and builders. The Increasing number of projects they need to handle is putting a strain on their ability to manage multiple sites spread across a wide area. Finding labor to handle the projects becomes difficult. Modular construction takes 40-60% labor off a site making contractors join hands with manufacturers of prefabs.
Need for speeding up construction and reducing cost

The need for greater productivity has driven the industry towards off site manufacturing in an effort ot speed up work and reduce costly work stoppages. Reduction in work hours of laborers adds up to further gains as pay outs are reduced.

Need for collaboration
The construction industry relies more heavily on early collaboration to start work early and to carry it on smoothly. Conceptualizing and designing together using BIM results in more accuracy at implementation stages and reduces need for changes and alterations that cost time and money.

Growing need for offsite construction
The various factors like volume of work, need for speed and accuracy, concern for standardization of work, and concern for cost control are all pushing contractors, builders and project managers to opt for offsite construction to complete projects.

Early mover advantage
Early adapters have demonstrated that offsite construction can integrate old designs with new methods. One of the major concerns that prevented builders from embracing offsite was the idea that established brand styles would be lost in moving to the new way to build. Offsite modules have proved their adaptability and flexibility in producing units that match and fit in universally.

What the trends foretell
These trends are an indication to industry experts that there is a need in India for shifting in numbers to the new way of building. The challenge remains to convince architects, builders and contractors to make the change.

Need of the hour
Undertaking a process of awareness creation and education has become necessary to generate interest in the new method of construction. To understand how offsite construction works and what benefits it can offer there is a need for showcasing of completed projects using offsite construction and visits to manufacturing units of prefabs to understand the basics of modular construction.

The scene is set for the construction industry to make a shift from traditional to modern methods. The rate at which the change over happens depends on how experts and leaders project and explain these trends. Showcasing completed projects will result in more and more builders taking advantage of offsite construction.